“The science of today is the technology of tomorrow”
– Edward Teller, Theoretical Physicist (1908 – 2003)
The role that technology plays in the world today is quite nearly impossible to overstate. Technology touches every industry and is deeply engraved in our everyday lives. It could very well seem that almost everything around us in some way is or is somehow connected to an exemplification of technology. In this, out of all of the many core industries that technology plays a crucial role in, healthcare is most definitely one of the most important. This critical merger is heavily responsible for improving and saving countless lives all around the world.
Medical technology innovatively plays a crucial role in sustaining health and care. Areas such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, information technology, and medical devices & equipment development have all made significant contributions to improving the health of people all around the world. From “small” innovations like adhesive bandages and ankle braces, to larger, more complex technologies like MRI machines, artificial organs, and robotic prosthetic limbs, technology has undoubtedly made an incredible impact on medicine.
With more and more hospitals and practices using medical technology like mobile devices on the job, physicians can now have access to any type of information they need – from drug information, research and studies, patient history or records, and more – within mere seconds. In addition, with the ability to effortlessly carry these mobile devices around with them throughout the day, they are never far from the information they need. Applications that aid in identifying potential health threats and examining digital information like x-rays and CT scans also contribute to the benefits that information technology brings to medicine.
Medical technology of today has the potential to create a brighter and healthier future for tomorrow’s generation. With investments in research, growth in driving the workforce and overall better administration of care, medical technology will continue to be a major player in creating and shaping heath care.
Investments in Research
Innovations in health technology are helping us grow the world economy today. More and more entrepreneurs and business owners have started to invest in medical technology. Moreover, approximately 95% of medical technology companies are “Small and Medium” sized Enterprises (SMEs), most of which are dedicated to investing in research and development. On average, the medical technology industry reinvests around 8% of sales into product research and development. As more investments are dedicated to the development of technology in the medical field, it is clear that interest in the sector has significantly increased. This will surely reshape the economic landscape in many countries, including the US.
Canada’s Budget 2018 Plan marks as the biggest investment in science and university research in Canadian history. With a focus on investing in people and ideas for a stronger, more prosperous Canada, the budget will increase diversity in science and help develop the nation’s next generation of research leaders.
“This budget places research at the forefront of the government’s economic and social agenda, reflecting the vital role of discovery in driving innovation, job creation and economic growth,” says Elizabeth Cannon, president of the University of Calgary and past chair of Universities Canada. “It’s an important signal to other nations that Canada is serious about investing in research and will work to attract top talent from around the world.” As increases in investments of research are on the positive rise, medical technology continues to strengthen itself through constantly improving its methods and systematic operations.
Driving the Job Force
Maintaining and building a strong work force that can firmly stand on its own two feet requires a well-planned and intuitive strategy. The good thing about medical technology: it doesn’t only affect one’s personal quality of life, there’s a professional side to it!
There are substantial inward investments in the field of healthcare technology that not only help innovation, but also provide a number of high quality jobs. With the increased use of electronic medical records (EMR), tele-health services, and mobile technologies like tablets and smart phones, physicians and patients are both seeing the benefits that these new medical technologies are bringing.
New career choices such as EEG technologists, MRI technologists or surgical technologists are not necessarily uncommon these days. Subsequently, these types of careers are on the rise and most have an average salary between $40,000 and $60,000 making them great long-term professional tracks. Furthermore, bio-engineering job openings are also steadily increasing. As we examine the IT sector, we can find examples of the evolving relationship between technology and healthcare.
“Strengthening the research and commercialization environment in Canada is crucial for the medical technology industry,” said Brian Lewis, President & CEO of MEDEC. The medical technology industry in Canada employs over 35,000 Canadians in approximately 1,500 facilities, and has sales of over $7 billion per year. Seeing this, it is most evident that the med tech work force is getting more and more of a valued option for employment, which will definitely have major benefits for patient health care.
Excellence and Proficiency in Improving Quality of Healthcare
With its many benefits and impactful features, medical technology will continue to enhance the way professionals work to provide better and safer quality of care. Digital platforms have made it easier than ever for physicians to connect with one another in order to effectively share medical patient information. Through enhanced connectivity and communication, medical professionals can enter into access of all pertinent patient care data and be able to keep a distinct track of all procedures that a patient undergoes in a day. New apps have reached the market that allow physicians to post recent findings and initiate conversations on their mobile devices, which reduces the amount of time needed to get in touch with colleagues. Quite a time saver!
Technological advancements have improved the safety of medical procedures, ensuring and prioritizing safety and security. Medical digitization systems allow for an alert system that will inform you if one medication’s ingredients are counteractive with another’s. This, in turn, alleviates the notion of contradicting medication, which will cause complications for the patient and care provider. Effective medical technology documentation presents clear and concise information to a medical worker about the patient at hand. Each patient has their very own respective personal profile where all informative content ranging from name and age to blood pressure and current weight can be stored.
Many people interact with patients during the day. There might be a case where a hospitalized older woman may be in contact with a doctor for her medication intake during the day, a nurse in the afternoon for her shower, and another care professional in the evening for her supper. Through medical technology, you can keep track of all interactions through managing the patient’s profile and having a clear understanding of each medical schedule.
Conclusively, the future of medical technology is bright. Its implementation in research, strengthening the workforce, and improving the quality of life will continue to establish it as a pillar in the medical industry. With the dawn of the millennial work era, it is quite intuitive to expect that this generation of medical tech professionals will lead the way today towards a healthier tomorrow.
Gabriel Pugliese, Peel Solutions 2018